Are you ready for winter? 09/11/2021

Get ready for winter by thinking about how you could help your community in the event of a local emergency, including Covid-19.

With winter looming, parish and town councils may be thinking about their readiness to help their communities in the event of local emergencies, including their resilience to withstand any local surge of COVID-19 cases and to be ready to give support to people who may be self-isolating.

Devon County Council is offering funding (from the Government’s COVID-19 Outbreak Self-Isolation Management Grant Fund) to parish and town councils, voluntary organisations, community groups and social enterprises, to once again offer practical help such as shopping, cooking and delivering free meals, collecting prescriptions and other items, dog walking etc. All the things local communities did so well during previous lockdowns!

Although your local mutual aid group may be dormant or even disbanded at the moment, it would be wise to have the contingencies in place to be active again should a local surge of COVID-19 cases happen and you can apply for funding now!  Here are just a few examples of how you could use the fund to prepare now:

  • Extra hours for your clerk or admin assistant, specifically to co-ordinate COVID-19 information on local sources of help, send out monthly newsletters through the winter (to end March 2022),  or post information on social media,
  • Design and delivery costs for an ‘Are you ready for winter?’ newsletter; make it something eye-catching that people will really want to read and keep for information on local sources of practical help should they need them, benefits information, information on keeping warm if you have to self-isolate, Test and Trace and how to get a COVID-19 test, vaccination locations etc.
  • Volunteer expenses; for fuel costs for delivering to people who are self-isolating, or for someone to update the parish/town website on a monthly basis re ‘Are you ready for winter?’
  • Maintain a rota of names of emergency volunteers who can be called upon out of hours or at weekends to signpost someone to immediate help due to COVID-19 self isolation.

The fund is available for projects running to end March 2022. Some councils around the county have already received their grants. You can find more information here or contact Hannah Reynolds at Devon Communities Together on,uk or  01392 248919

Help Devon County Council to target Covid-19 support to those communities that need it most. Please respond to this mini survey to help us understand where Covid-19 support is currently available.